Provision Procurement, Pasta Preparation, Priestly Provendering

Next week I will be in Northern Minnesota with a group of priests/bishops who have been, with some ebbing and flowing of members, gathering for some 26 years.

This year, to keep our expenses lower, I volunteered to do some of the cooking.  Today and tomorrow I have a lot of prep to do.

Today I should be able to make in advance some basil pesto, with walnuts (there’s a way to do it) in addition to pine nuts, gazpacho soup from Lorraine Wallace’s Mr. Sunday’s Soups, and Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon from Mastering the Art of French Cooking.   If time permits, I will also make a couple quarts of tomato sauce for pasta (readers here sent the tomatoes and the pasta via my wishlist some time ago and I am sharing them with the guys). The strozzapreti will receive the pesto, spaghetti the sugo al pomodoro.   I’ll squirrel it all away in heavy duty zip bags – wondrous invention – for transport.

Julia ChildI will have to adjust the recipes along the way, for the number of men expected.  But, by working ahead of time today, I can a) eliminate the need to bring more tools, and b) allow the flavor’s to marry together and c) save some money.  The gazpacho was chosen not only because it doesn’t need to be heated, but also because of the sale on cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes I found.  The boeuf was chosen a) because I know it and b) no one doesn’t like it c) and it mellows well and b) the beef was $3.95/lb.  IO’ll serve it with brown rice and salad.  The gazpacho will be whipped up in a flash with the seemingly industrial blender I have… I think the motor might have once been attached to the back of a boat.  By the way, the last couple donations through the donation button bought some of the ingredients.  Oddly, the large amount of cash people in Nigeria keep saying I have inherited hasn’t shown up yet, so your donations are welcome.

Hmmm… it just occurred … since we will have a rabbi with us for two nights, I must consider the timing of the boeuf, which has lardons.

And so, I will put on some music and hit the kitchen now.

As Capt Aubrey would say, “There’s not a moment to be lost!”


A few shots.


Prep of gazpacho.


Mixed up.


Some veg.


Peeled tomatoes.

Boil water.  Ready large bowl of ice water.  Slash your tomatoes on the smooth end in an X.  Submerge – depending on the ripeness – from 20-30 seconds.  Then remove to ice-water.  Peel with ease.


Peel cucumbers.  Cut in half length-wise.  Use a spoon to drag out the seeds.  Easy.


Anyway…  I did a lot of cooking today.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. AnAmericanMother says:

    That Julia Child Boeuf Bourguignon is top notch. Very time-consuming with all the separate sauteeing and braising and moving stuff in and out of the oven. But worth the time and trouble, if you have the time!

  2. Kerry says:

    I’ll wager a dollar to a donut you can give Julia a run for her money, and speak a terrific, Bon apetit!

  3. KAS says:

    Oh your list of things you are cooking sounds marvelous!

    I agree that doing ahead and letting the flavors sit together is a great thing. Often my mother would fix things that would be even better in leftovers. The Turkey casseroles were so good that one year my sisters did the turkey early and made a bunch of casseroles so all we did for thanksgiving was add the side dishes and warmed the casseroles. Marvelous low stress day!

    I’ll be praying for your intentions and for the gathering that all of you find good conversation, mutual support and the break from stresses that you need!

  4. Marcin says:

    IO’ll serve it with brown rice and salad.

    Padre, it’s lovely that TU’ll serve it like that.

  5. Dear Father
    Be assured of my prayers for a safe trip and some much needed R&R.
    God bless

  6. Jason Keener says:

    Father Z, I hope you enjoy your retreat/vacation with your brother priests. I have been praying for your intentions and brought them before the Eucharistic Lord at Adoration the other night.

  7. irishgirl says:

    Oooo, what you’re thinking of cooking for your brother priests sounds delish, Father Z!
    Safe journey to you,and have a relaxing time with everyone….you need it!
    [BTW-that lion pic in the ‘urgent intentions’ entry looks positively scary! ]

  8. Sigh. I can remember a time when beef at $3.95 a pound would have been considered highway robbery.

  9. UPDATE: I have completed the following.

    The tomato sauce is finished and stored up.
    The pesto is done and jarred.
    The gazpacho is finished and bagged up and chilling.
    The boeuf bourgignon is finished. The meat and sauce are separated for now and they are bagged and stored.

    So, I’ll have a jump on a couple meals, at least.

    The boeuf is really good.

  10. wanda says:

    I’ll bet it was hard not to do some sampling whilst cooking. It sounds wonderful. Have a wonderful time on your get-together/retreat with your fellow priests and bishop. Blessings and continued prayer for your intentions.

    That is a fearsome picture of the Lion. A good image to remember, though.

  11. Denita says:

    Have a safe, healthy, blessed, peaceful, and delicious journey, Father. :)

  12. Denita: Many thanks! However, the main point of this is some fraternity and intellectual/spiritual enrichment. I am glad to help everyone eat well too… and save money! The resort wanted obscene money to cater for us.

  13. AnAmericanMother says:

    . . . and the food wouldn’t have been nearly as fresh and good. Hope everyone appreciates the “catering”.

  14. MissOH says:

    That looks good and I think I am feeling some inspiration to try gazpacho. Too right that homemade is generally much better especially using fresh ingredients.

  15. stpetric says:

    “Provision Procurement, Pasta Preparation, Priestly Provendering”?

    What piquant palaver!

  16. benedetta says:

    I like the photo of the different colorful summer veggies.

  17. FloridaJoan says:

    Father Z,
    Those pics are making my mouth water.! Yummy. Have you ever considered putting out a cookbook ?
    You and your fellow priests are in my prayers.

    pax et bonum

  18. wanda says:

    Gorgeous pictures. An explosion of colors, especially the gazpacho picture. The more colors on your plate (or in your bowl) the better for you. Bon apetit!

  19. Kathryn says:

    Yummy that looks amazing! Have a wonderful trip. We will keep you in our prayers!

  20. Di says:

    Dear Father,
    I need a break from cooking could you please come and visit so I can have a vacation(LOL). The food looks just amazing. I pray you all have a good time together and get rejuvenated. I will keep you all in my prayers. Your right satan is on the prowl I think many of us are feeling the effects, I just keep praying harder.
    God Bless,

  21. PostCatholic says:

    I grew up in Mrs. Child’s neighborhood. (Let me tell you–theirs was the best house to trick-or-treat at!) If you’re a fan of the Boeuf Bourguignon, you’ll probably also enjoy the spectacular recipe in the same tome for blanquette de veau, and being that you’re in dairy country I imagine veal stewing meat is easier to come by than it is here in Washington, DC. Give it a go, you won’t be sorry. Or any thinner! Other truly great recipes in there are Poulet au Porto, the lamb stew called Navarin Printanier, and the Chocolate and Almond Cake. And I always go to that book for how to make a Sauce Hollandaise.

    My autographed copy of Mastering the Art (double-whammy: there’s a nice personal note from Mrs. Child to my late grandmother, for whom she signed the cookbook) is a prized possession and as a reference it’s invaluable. But I have found myself cooking more often from her book “From Julia Child’s Kitchen” because the recipes are less complex.

  22. Maria says:

    When, oh when are you going to invite me to your place for a meal Fr. Z?

    Everything you put on here makes me want to eat, even after I have already eaten.

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